Saturday, March 18, 2017

Attention White People

There are worse things that can happen than someone telling you that you did something racist. For one, someone could be harmed by your act of unintentional racism. You being accused of racism is not the crime that has occurred here. I know it is embarrassing. You are horrified and want to shut this discussion down, but if I may, this is where the racism starts to multiply. If you back off and say, with sincerity, I am sorry, I never thought of it that way, you have shown consideration for the experience of a human being who has experience different from your own. This is laudable. Get yourself a cookie! Buy one for your friend, too, to show no hard feelings. When you start to backtrack and explain that you were not racist and defend yourself and bring up all your black friends and coworkers, this is bad. You do not want to be the story this person will tell all their friends and they will be like, Ugh, right, I know. White people. You can handle this opportunity for growth and change. If you can follow up your apology (and, knock off any of that "I'm sorry if you were offended bullshit") with listening to your friend's thoughts on why what you said/did/implied were unacceptable, get two cookies. Or just do better next time. The More You Know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Where am I today? Currently wracked with anxiety. My heart feels like an electric ball behind my sternum and it is all I can do to stay upright and not weep. But I have three year old twins and a husband who needs time for his desperately necessary teaching job, so upright I am. The day after election day we found out that we do in fact qualify for health insurance under Obamacare, and are covered until the end of this month by state insurance and at the beginning of the next month by an associated HMO. The bad news is that only hospitals take the state insurance, so, tonight, to get prescriptions for very necessary medications, I will go the ER and wait as a very low priority patient to be sorted through the system and possibly be turned down as one of my necessary medications is easily abused and trying to get and fill a prescription is to be suspected of a crime. I have an appointment with a regular doctor, but they couldn't schedule me until the beginning of next month (which works out anyway for the insurance), but I have exhausted all the refills I can get from my Alabama doctor without seeing him again, so the ER is my only option. I called the people with whom I have an appointment and they told me that was my only option. I understand that I DO have an option. This is not a complaint. I just think that a lot of people don't understand the constant paper cuts to your dignity that a basic lack of financial resources entails. And it is constant. Every time you mention the state service that your family uses, you open yourself up to judgment from anyone who can overhear you. I have been lucky to avoid horrible experiences, so far, mostly because I am white. But you get nervous every time. Is this the time someone feels the need to unburden themselves about their feelings about "the poors"? And that wears you down. When you live with family members and spend time every evening minimizing your presence in the place where you live so you burn through the goodwill that much slower, it wears you down. When your plan, executed over a dozen years, to pursue schooling for a career plan that literally does not exist anymore, what comes next? I wish I knew.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So here we are. Hillary lost. President Trump. Where do we go from here? I decided to start with what is right next to me. Dinner was simple, budget bytes Matzo Ball Soup minus the chicken, a throw back to Lily's vegetarian phase. We spent the morning doing basic housekeeping tasks, paperwork and phone calls and forms that needed to be done. I reached out to my liberal girl friends, seeing how everybody was. I called my mom and let her talk to the twins (I have twins now, Henry is six, sometimes I don't blog. See, previous, re: twins). I read the blogs of people I trust and got some good advice. 1. Your shock at the extent of the racism in the country is a marker of your insulation from that racism. Check with a person of color. They are not as shocked as you. 2. We are all the same movement now. We can litigate out the differences between us later. 3. I am not here for your "Bernie would have won" bullshit. I am sorry your feelings were hurt, but this is important. I was as much a Berner as anybody. Honest. Not just saying that. The bumper sticker is still on my car (with my AL plates, yeah, I'm hardcore). But I don't know what we are accomplishing with this holier than thou stuff. It's not getting us free college or less prison or anything, but your sense of entitlement. Okay, so I do have some anger.

Tomorrow I am going to do some more administrative tasks and work on kindness like I have a recital coming up. And potty training. And planning for dinner and drinking too much diet soda and checking the internet to see what time the revolution starts. And maybe some more blogging.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Week Down

One week into no breastfeeding and things are good. Henry is still not acting like he thinks I have betrayed him. He has woken up every night this week, but last night he slept until 5:30 am, and I was able to convince him to snooze until 6:30. As to the sleep deprivation, it was hard, but it got easier as the week went on and he got more and more used to going to sleep boobless. We even hit on a process for getting him to sleep. We go in the bedroom turn off all the lights and watch a documentary on ocean life. Within 20 minutes, he is socked out. It helps calm Lily down before bedtime, too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I ended up weaning Henry this weekend. It was something I had talked about doing for a long time, and only pulled the trigger yesterday. Henry is doing fine, maybe easier to upset, but still easy enough to distract and delight. The happy go lucky kid he has always been. So far the experience has not turned him into a sorry human being.
For me, it has involved a radical change in my approach to parenting. 90% of my responses to Henry involved me baring a breast. Now I have to figure out what it is that he needs and respond in kind. Which is fine. I'm a mom, I get that this is what I signed up for. It's just a complete 180 to my previous parenting. And let me say again, that very little real planning went into this process. I just decided yesterday that we were done breastfeeding. Henry is 15 months old and I need my life back.
Jeremy really stepped up to the plate on this one. He kept Henry all night repeatedly getting him (boob free) back to sleep. In terms of home economics, Jeremy is enjoying a boom cycle.
Breastfeeding was wonderful. I actually took time to have a final feeding and acknowledge that this was it. That helped a lot. Taking a moment to acknowledge the ritual.
My boobs are full of milk and sore. Tylenol helps. So does a slightly large sports bra. Apparently sage tea will help a lot with the drying of the milk, but it tastes really bad. If you are thinking of weaning, I would recommend taking the saner cut down one feeding every so often approach, rather than the I lost my mind one day and stopped breastfeeding. But it is get overable. For all of us.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Today I found out

What my novel is going to be about. So far it's working out really well, being a good mix of things I know something about and things I will need to learn a bit more about. It's all very preliminary as I've only been working on it a few hours. But I have An Idea. It is my first novel, if you don't count the one I started at five, singing songs into a tape recorder about cats, because you have to sing into a tape recorder, right? And what's more interesting than cats? It may quickly devolve into a short story or sketch, but it is something I have been thinking about for a very long time. My parents are writers. My husband is a writer. All my favorite writers are writers. I'm going with what I call the Lori Colwin model where I take a person who sounds suspiciously like me and make her do things I don't think I would do. Hopefully, it won't be awful.Well, back to work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Fear

I have always been afraid. But I'm starting to rethink it. I'm naturally anxious and would rather mull over worst case scenarios than just about anything, but I've had some good days where I could see what life without all that would be like. For instance, I'm a picky eater. As a child, it helped me exert a level of control over events, and I suppose it serves much the same purpose now. But once, some people I dearly love took me out for a very fancy New Year's Eve dinner, and I decided that I was not going to be picky that night. It was a prix fixe event, and I was going to eat what was on the menu and enjoy it, because, well, that's how I was raised. Luckily, it was an evening filled with delicious and largely nonthreatening food, but I was able to glimpse what life might be like without all that anxiety for control. Nothing bad happened to me, and I had some new experiences. It was really pretty wonderful. Have I had many days like that since? A couple, when the meds are right and it all falls into place. Another thing that lifted the veil slightly was childbirth. Why are you afraid? Because you think it might hurt. Well, childbirth did hurt, but I got over it and my life changed for the better. I've been thinking about these two experiences a lot lately. Looking at my life and wondering if it has to look like it does. How much change is really possible at my time of life? Can I do it? What's the worst that could happen? I've been planning these changes, some for years, and I'm coming to think that it really is now or never. I'm going back to school, Henry is walking, and I can make the life I want to have. I can be a good student. I can be physically active and raise my kids to be physically active. I can find time in the day to do some writing and some reading. I'm not saying it will be easy, but I'm also not saying it will be drastic. These are activities I want to include in my life, to improve the quality of my life. And I have to believe that I am up to the challenge, or what am I here for? It's still early to just give it up completely. I have plans and dreams for the future. I want to visit Japan. I want to go to graduate school. I want to become a person who runs. I have a lot of life left to live, and I'm finally deciding what I want it to look like. Part of the being afraid was not making plans. But the future is happening all around us, and I want to get started on it myself.